Born and educated in Torquay, I have been fortunate enough to maintain strong roots in the area throughout my career. I am Managing Director of Shearings Hotels, who own and operate 50 hotels in the UK, and I am on the Board of Shearings Group Ltd. I am also the lead Director for Health & Safety and Sustainable Tourism across the Shearings Group. Shearings provides over 1 million holidays for our UK customers each year and has been trading for over 100 years, providing holidays for the 55 plus market. In addition to my role within Shearings, I have the honour and privilege to be the current Chair of Governors at Torquay Academy, formerly known as Torquay Community College and Audley Park School. I was educated at Audley Park in the 1970s and have a very long connection with the school. I believe that the creation of the TBGS Multi‐ Academy Trust is a very exciting development and I am delighted to have been able to play a part in its creation and development so far. I also believe that this was a very bold and exciting development for the schools and it is one which will have a significant and positive impact on education within Torbay.
Mrs L Critchlow
Torquay primary and secondary school educated, followed by two years at Art College (part of the former SDTC) and distance‐ learning at Hereford College for various HCIMA Part A courses. I am Vice Chair of the Governing Body of Torquay Academy and Chair of the HR committee and CLA governor with over 30 years’ experience. Since 1999 I have been employed as a Project Officer by Devon County Council representing the client, working in the Built Environment team. My work is directly associated with the commissioning, briefing and delivery of numerous major capital primary, secondary and children’s centre projects as well as three new primary schools and two special schools, along with Cranbrook – the new community and its school provision in East Devon. I regularly work with school stakeholders as well as technical design and construction team members and also support schools with a range of matters relating to the school estate. Prior to this I was employed within the schools’ client catering service covering the whole of Devon. I am a Member of the Institute of Hospitality and an MSP Registered Practitioner.
Mrs M Bray
I was born and educated in Newton Abbot and attended Newton Abbot Grammar School. I did a 5 year tailoring apprenticeship, which lead me to working in the clothing manufacturing trade for many years. This included running my own clothing factory. After having my family, I worked as a physiotherapy assistant for 4 years and then moved into education where I have spent the last 20 years. I now work in the maths department as an HLTA, having upgraded my qualifications to obtain this level.
Educated at primary and secondary schools in the South Hams and Torbay, followed by Foundation and Degree courses at Oxford and Sheffield.
I have been a parent governor since 2013,and am a member of the Curriculum sub-committee. I have worked in the voluntary and community sector for 25 years; formerly Chief Executive Of Age Concern Torbay, I’m now Community Funding Adviser at Torbay Community Development Trust and am also trustee of a small, local men’s health charity. I’m a member of The Institute of Fundraising and a Fellow of Dartington School for Social Entrepreneurs.
I fully support the creation and development of the Multi-Academy Trust and believe every student at Torbay Academy has gifts and talents that need to be recognised and developed. Torquay Academy is now an impressive environment and distinctive place of learning, and as a governor my aim is to help maximise the opportunities the Academy provides for both students and the wider community.
I was born and educated in Torbay and then went to Manchester University to study for a degree in Mathematics and then a Masters degree in Statistics. This perhaps, at least in part, explains my long-time support of Man. Utd. F.C!
I returned to Torbay after my degree to take a post at Torquay Boys’ Grammar School teaching Mathematics in 1977. Apart from a two-year ‘hop across the bay’ to Churston I have spent the remainder of my career at TBGS. I have also been a principal examiner for A level Statistics and wrote a textbook to support students studying for this exam. I have also taught trainee teachers at Marjons on a part-time basis.
I became a governor (originally at Torquay Community College) to support the strong working relationship Torquay Boys’ Grammar has with Torquay Academy and continued my role when Torquay Academy achieved Academy Status. As someone born and brought up in Torbay, I feel strongly that those involved in education in Torbay must strive to make the educational offer to students in Torbay outstanding and I believe that Torquay Academy is playing a major part in improving the educational life chances of students in this area.
Mr O Gratton
Mr G Grute
Firstly I would like to say how delighted I am to be offered the opportunity as a Parent Governor at Torquay Academy. I am a semi -retired business manager and work for two shortened days with the local NHS Trust in Commercial Development. I have significant experience in both adult social care as a proprietor of a residential home and in children’s services as a director of an independent foster agency. Therefore I am no stranger to working with public authorities.
I became a governor as I am passionate about helping young people achieve their potential by receiving a world class education. I am here to work as part of a team of governors to ensure youngsters have the best opportunities to succeed whilst growing into responsible and caring individuals.
My personal beliefs on how this is best achieved have such close synergy with Torquay Academy’s beliefs that I know I will enjoy working with the children, staff and families within the school community.
Mr B Jope
Apart from five years studying in Oxford, where I took an MA in English Literature followed by a MLit degree, I’ve lived most of my life in London where, having taught first at St Olave’s and at Dulwich College, for many years I was Head of English and Drama at Sydenham High School.
Since taking early retirement and heading west to be nearer to my two daughters – settling in Torbay with my wife, Anna, in 2011 – I’ve worked in the voluntary sector. I took on the role of Service Provider, for example, promoting the Red Cross Torbay Navigators Project, while now I’m a Trustee and part of the Media Team for our local Healthwatch alongside writing a regular newspaper column on Community and Health news.
As a governor at Torquay Academy I enjoy the opportunity both to stay up to date with what’s happening in the wider world of education and, more particularly, to play a part in the life of an increasingly successful school, one where it’s cheeringly clear that all students are encouraged to achieve to the highest degree by dedicated and hugely supportive staff.
Other interests, aside from friends and family, include art and art history, reading – from contemporary fiction and poetry to Elizabethan/Jacobean literature – history, politics, cooking, and music, in particular Bob Dylan, the blues, and early Elvis. I love writing, too, by the way, with one novel published so far – Elvis in Wonderland – and another, Who’s There?, that still needs plenty of work!
Mr C Mealey
I am a husband and father of three children and am proud to be a resident of Torbay, having lived here all of my life.
Whilst I have joined the Academy’s Governing Body with no previous governor experience, I relish the opportunity to contribute to Torquay Academy and the community it serves by providing an educational environment in which our young people – whatever their individual aptitudes and abilities – can develop to their full potential and go out into the community as happy, confident and responsible individuals, achieving not just the highest standards of academic success but a healthy sense of self-esteem and respect for others. I currently serve on the HR, Safeguarding and ‘Narrowing the gap’, sub-committees.
Mrs K Porter
I was born and educated in Torquay, attending Torquay Girls’ Grammar School and South Devon College. I worked as a legal secretary at WBW before becoming the Company Secretary of a local yacht sales company. In 2006, I joined Abbey School in Torquay and am part of the Senior Leadership Team as School Administrator.
I have a keen interest in education and was delighted to be elected as Parent Governor at Torquay Academy at the end of 2015, also serving on the HR & Safeguarding sub-committee.
My daughter has attended Torquay Academy since 2014 and my son will be joining in 2016. I am thrilled to be part of the Academy and am devoted to ensuring its continued success.
Mrs T Ross
I am a full time mother, wife and carer. I have worked in retail in the past however a lot of my time over the last 26 years has been spent doing voluntary work. I have run parent and toddler groups, social service run family centres , holiday schemes and am currently chair person at Torre Academy and parent governor at Torquay Academy.
Mrs C Smith
I have lived in the South West since undertaking my law degree at Exeter University in 2000. I am now an Associate Solicitor with Boyce Hatton LLP and have been with the firm for almost 10 years. I am a member of the Commercial Property team undertaking a broad variety of commercial transactions.
As well as a mother of 3 young boys, I am a local Scout Leader and enjoy teaching the scouts to sail during the summer months. I also regularly attend circuit training at a local gym and love music and dancing.
As one of the newest members of the board of governors, I hope to be able to help the school to build on the already impressive progress made and hope that my skills will be useful to the school in facing and overcoming the challenges facing all schools in the years to come.
I was born In Torquay and educated at the Boys’ Grammar School. I have worked in local government for over 25 years in customer service and finance.
I am a foundation governor at Torre Church of England Academy as well as being appointed a parent governor at Torquay Academy in May 2015.
Until recently I was also a founding board member of Hele’s Angels, the community group serving Hele and Lower Barton.
With two children now at the school, I take a keen interest in how the Academy is responding to the new challenges that all young people face in our ever changing world.
Mrs H Jeffreys
Clerk to Governors
I Having been born and educated in the North of England, I spent most of my working life in the banking industry before taking a career break to move to Torbay in 2011. I became Clerk to Governors at Torquay Academy in November 2014. I am also Chair of Governors at a Church of England primary school in Torbay so have a full understanding of the roles and responsibilities of the governing body. I am married with two children and live in Churston Ferrers. In my spare time, I like to play golf and I am a member of Churston Golf Club.